Thursday, 24 December 2009

Storms in Andalucia

The long, long indian summer came to an end dramatically with the arrival of some monstrous storms that have battered the whole of Andalucia for 4 days now. There has been widespread flooding throughout the region together with high winds.

The bad weather was supposed to arrive on Saturday and unexpectedly having the weekend off I headed to El Chorro fully expecting to be using the Poema Roca cave as shelter; however the weekend was fine - a bit cold when belaying but great for red pointing.

I returned home wondering how the forecasters could get it so wrong and then bang - the storms hit and carried on for 36 hours - there is a lot of wet rock here now and none of the usual dry spots escaped. This is the first time I have seen this happen.

Normally St. Anton in Malaga and Los Vados near Motril are safe bets, but they were both hit by the rain. John and Becky from the BMC were in Chorro and phoned for advice for where to go - normally I could suggest half a dozen places for them to go, but this time I could only suggest Los Vados as a forlorn hope...Apparently even climbing in Poema Roca was not possible apart from a couple of routes.

The closest dry crags now look to be in Almeria / Murcia - certainly this is where all the Malaga and Granada climbers are heading. The favoured crags seem to be Mula and Cacin - both are brilliant. The crags in Almeria are not well known to UK climbers, but often offer great winter climbing - I did hear a rumour that Rockfax were planning a Murcia guide, although I am fairly sure the locals will not be too pleased about this.

It looks like I will head up this way as well to meet up with some friends for Christmas before coming back down for my next climbing course on the evening of the 28th - fortunately the weather looks like it changes back to sunny conditions in Andalucia on the 27th.

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